Hospital Staffing Facing Challenges

Hospital emergency departments in at least two communities were holding coronavirus patients while waiting for space or staff to treat them elsewhere.

Teresa Ellis, the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center’s emergency department director, said nine patients were held in the emergency room overnight Sunday night, including four COVID-19 patients.

The rest were waiting to be transported to other hospitals to make room for those infected with the coronavirus, she added.

The Stormont Vail Health system said that its emergency department in Topeka was boarding some coronavirus patients while waiting for beds elsewhere to open up.

It also created three new spaces for treating non-COVID-19 emergency patients from waiting rooms and hallways.

Stormont Vail reported that it had more than 170 employees and physicians who had active coronavirus cases, or were isolated and on leave because of contact with someone who had coronavirus.

The University of Kansas Hospital, in Kansas City, Kansas, has 187 workers, including physicians, nurses and support staff, out after testing positive.

Another 200 aren’t at work while they await test results.